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Morocco edges Zambia to maintain top spot in group E

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Morocco secured a 2-1 victory over Zambia on Friday, June 7. The Atlas Lions showcased their dominance early on and held off a late surge from the Chipolopolos to maintain their lead in Group E.

Early Dominance from Morocco

Morocco, eager to cement their position at the top of the group, started the match aggressively.

Their efforts paid off quickly when, in the 4th minute, they were awarded a penalty after Stoppila Sunzu fouled Youssef En-Nesyri in the box.

Hakim Ziyech stepped up and confidently converted the penalty, leaving the Zambian goalkeeper with no chance.

The early goal set the tone for the match, with Morocco controlling possession and dictating play.

Ziyech, who was a constant threat, attempted another shot from a free kick in the 11th minute, but it sailed over the bar.

Shortly after, Moroccan goalkeeper Yassine Bounou was called into action to clear a dangerous through ball, showcasing the team’s solid defensive efforts.

Continued Pressure and Missed Opportunities

Morocco’s dominance in possession reached 60% by the half-hour mark, but Zambia began to show signs of resistance.

Zambian goalkeeper Mulenga made several key saves, including a decisive clearance from a Moroccan corner in the 50th minute.

Despite Morocco’s control, they struggled to extend their lead. Brahim Diaz had a promising opportunity in the 28th minute, but his shot lacked the power to trouble Mulenga.

The breakthrough finally came in the 67th minute when Diaz set up Ben Seghir, who calmly slotted the ball home to double Morocco’s lead.

Late Response from Zambia

Zambia, however, did not go down without a fight. Patson Daka had a chance to reduce the deficit in the 75th minute, but his header went wide.

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The Chipolopolos eventually found the net in the 80th minute through Emmanuel Chilufya, who capitalized on a through ball and fired past Bounou to make it 2-1.

Despite Zambia’s late push, Morocco held on to secure the victory.

The win is a significant boost for the Atlas Lions, who are aiming for a strong finish in the qualifiers after their disappointing performance in the last African Cup of Nations.

Looking Ahead

Morocco’s victory over Zambia not only solidifies their position at the top of Group E but also revives their campaign after previous setbacks.

With this win, they remain focused on securing a spot in the 2026 World Cup. Meanwhile, Zambia will need to regroup and strategize for their upcoming matches to keep their qualification hopes alive.

For Morocco, the path forward looks promising, but they must continue to build on this momentum to achieve their World Cup aspirations.

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Ibrahim Sannie

Ibrahim Sannie

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